Could The Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 Make Wireless Charging Mainstream?
October 17, 2012 at 12:20 GMT | By Phones4u
Nokia Lumia 820 resting on a wireless charging plate
Charging 'sans wires' may not be a new concept, but the technology is really innovative and it's difficult to see why it never caught on. Nokia has brought wireless charging back into the public consciousness though by championing the tech and incorporating it into its new flagship smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 920. This got us thinking - if all manufacturers across the board employed wireless charging, it could revolutionise the way the world juices up its mobile phones.
In the beginning...
For those that don't know, wireless charging allows users to provide energy to devices via magnetic induction, without the need to connect the kit to a power source using wires, and was first seen on the Palm Pre (with its inductive 'Touchstone' charger) at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009. Although the Palm Pre received a good reception, becoming the fastest selling phone in US network Sprint's history, wireless charging didn't catch on as the phones makers would have liked. Maybe what the Palm Pre was lacking was the presence that a renowned mobile brand such as Nokia could provide?
Where's it at now then?
Owners of devices that are Qi-compatible (a proprietary wireless charging standard set by the Wireless Power Consortium - an association made up of various manufacturers with an interest in this sort of thing) can currently stroll into any Virgin Atlantic lounge or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe and pop their bit of kit onto a pad to charge. If all mobiles were Qi-compatible there would be endless possibilities as to where chargers could be placed for people to utilise. Coffee shops, bars, pubs and other public places could house chargers, making dead mobile batteries a thing of the past. We wouldn't have to worry about our smartphone's stamina when out and about for the day, and heavy usage would no longer cause user constant worry.
Fatboy Wireless Charging Pillows for Lumia devices
Of course, that's not to say that it's going to be an easy ride to get to that point, because where the Wireless Power Consortium has tried to set the standard for wireless charging, it's now facing some competition. Although the WPC counts 127 companies amongst its members, earlier this year Samsung, Qualcomm and Powermat Technologies announced a group of their own called the Alliance for Wireless Power, or A4WP. However, both Powermat and Samsung were and still are members of the WPC backing the rival Qi standard from the WPC.
With different collectives creating their own standards for wireless charging, it means that the dream of a unified 'one for all' charging unit could be slowly slipping away. So where is the future of wireless charging heading? If Nokia can set a trend with the Lumia 920, and a unified standard can be agreed on, then other manufacturers may follow suit and we could see a universal wireless charging revolution. Looks like this one could go down to the wire.
This guest post was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, the go to retailer for great mobile phone deals.
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